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Florida students accused of using ChatGPT AI to cheat on essays for elite academic program
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Florida students accused of using ChatGPT AI to cheat on essays for elite academic program

Lee County School District in Florida suspects some of its high school students have used ChatGPT to harness artificial intelligence to write their essays.

WBBH-TV in Florida obtained an email from the International Baccalaureate program at Cape Coral High School that was sent to the parents of students who are accused of cheating.

The International Baccalaureate program is an elite academic program for young students that is over 50 years old and recognized internationally by universities.

The program's coordinator told parents that "the use of AI generators has become a major concern."

"We are using AI detectors and our own investigation of [Chromebooks] to verify the authenticity of suspicious student work," the letter continues.

“There have been some IB papers submitted that are questionable in a few ways … including being very different styles of writing from previously submitted papers,” the school administrator adds.

ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot developed by the company OpenAI, which is largely funded by Microsoft. The program is known to be not only politically motivated, but also controversial for developing its own "destructive fantasies."

The district spoke to WBBH and said that the use of AI is not tolerated:

“We do not tolerate cheating. Students who violate the Code of Conduct and Academic Integrity Policy will be disciplined. As part of our ongoing cybersecurity efforts, our Information Services team continues to strengthen Chromebook security features to block the use of AI from aiding any student work. Due to the ongoing review, it is inappropriate to comment any further.”

The International Baccalaureate also commented in a softer tone, asking for schools to discuss the misconduct with students.

“The use of ChatGPT and any other method which results in a student submitting work that is not their own is against the IB’s academic integrity policy. The IB expects all IB World Schools to discuss with students all types of academic misconduct and how to develop work in line with academic honesty."

While the school district uses a program called TurnItIn to check for plagiarism, a spokesperson says that this is the first instance of cheating using artificial intelligence that officials have seen in any of their schools.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
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